Healing From Pornography

                                                (This page is under construction)

           Pornography  is  a growing addiction in the lives of many men.   It does not have the same appeal to women.   Men are more visually oriented, whereas women stress relationships.  Porn  has also invaded the Christian community.   Men who are faithful in worship attendance also may be addicted to porn  and  have hidden it from their spouses for a long time.  However, the effect of Porn in a marriage  will be known by the wife sooner or later.
            Pornography is something one uses to gain a sexual turn-on, it creates an attitude of having sex with someone who is not your wife and  it does not qualify as art.  It creates an ego centered
attitude toward sexuality rather than a responsible, loving relationship. Pornography always promises what it can't deliver.  Most addictive behavior is trying to fill a need that  the "fix", whether it be drugs, alcohol, gambling, or pornography, can never fill.

            Marriages have been lost over the addiction to pornography.   Children have been abused  due to the same problem.   Pornography twists a man’s thinking, women  are viewed as sex objects,  rather than a loving relationship of husband and wife.

             Pornography  dehumanizes  women particularly, and men and boys  where one is attracted to the same sex.   The addict  views women as a means of gratification  without regard for the well-being of the woman, or responsibility to the woman.   Sex  becomes a sport  and as in any sport one wants to become better at the game.  But in this sport  pornography  is used  as an arousing means,  isolating sex from a  loving relationship. Twenty percent (20%)  of pornographic material depcits acts of sexual assault and rape and that percentage is increasing.  This reflects the growing need in pornography for something more intense.

            Pornography confuses  lust with love.   Lust  has no end,  there is only  short term fulfillment before more intense porn is needed to  overcome the growing tolerance for  pornography.    One may begin with “soft” porn  but there is a growth into “hard” porn.

            Harmful?   One may  rationalize  and say, “looking at nude pictures is not harmful,”  but the research  indicates  pornography  is not an innocent pastime.   In a study of men who had come to grips with porn and   rejected it after many years,   80 percent said that it was harmful, 82 percent  indicated that it  distorted their view of sexuality,  and 71 percent said that it was destructive in their lives.     Unlike drugs which affect  the body as well as the mind,  Pornography  begins  with the mind  and later affects the function of the body.  Sexual is dependent upon the mind first of all,  and pornography  distorts how one thinks about sexuality.   Alaska and Nevada have the highest  rape sttistic in the nation and they also have the highest readership of pornography.   This is ironic since  Nevada has legalized prostitution.
 

            How to Overcome Pornography;

         l.  Admit the problem first of all to yourself.  Rationalizing will not help, it only delays the return to normalcy.   It will be hard to admit,  because no one may know about it,  but you alone  know and you alone  can  begin the healing process.

         2. Admit the problem to someone you trust. Your wife may have suspected something and she can be  a strong ally in recovery.  But you need also someone else who is not family to hold you accountable.    Admit the problem to God because He is also your allay in healing.   Somehow just admitting it to God  is easy enough and He holds us accountable, but  this accountability is increased when we admit this to one of his servants.    Psalm 32:3-5 stresses the importance of confessing and admitting.   Confession  is important to begin  dealing with the matter seriously.
         3. Throw out all of your porn….whether magazines, videos, pictures, or whatever.
If you  are using the Internet for pornography,  purchase a filter that will not allow porn to come to your site.   Shut down this means of temptation.  Check this site for filters that will stop porn coming to your computer: Focus on the family .      Stay away from video stores that rent or sell porn.
        4.  Begin a day at a time program.   You do not have to swear off pornography for the rest of your life,  just  today.  Each day  you succeed  will bring  greater encouragement for winning tomorrow.     If you fail for a day,  you can recall all the days you succeeded, and you can begin a new  account after your failure.

        5.Make this addiction a serious matter of prayer.   God is in the business of reclaiming lives.  He is the God of new beginnings.  Regardless of how long you have been addicted,  God  will enable you to change your way of thinking about porn.  It will take some time to claim complete victory.  Remember you got into this over a period of time, and it may take a period of time for you to free your mind of all  the seduction of pornography.

        6. Saturate your mind with  Scripture.  Start with Psalms: 119:9-11…”How can young people keep their lives pure?  By obeying your commands. With all my heart I try to serve you:  keep me from disobeying your commandments.  I keep your law in my heart, so that I will not sin against you.”
        Then  Philippians 4:8,  “In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”
        Hebrews 12:1-2,   “ As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. on whom our faith depends ….”
        Romans 12:1-2   “So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you:  Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.  Do not conform yourselves to standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.  Then, you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.”    (See also Romans  6 and 7; Psalm   15)

        7. If you need professional counseling,here are some possibilities.

                                      Sex Addicts Anonymous
                                      National Service Organization for S.A.A. Inc.
                                      Houston, TX
                                      (713) 869-4902

                                      Sexaholics Anonymous
                                      Los Angeles, CA
                                      (213) 859-5585
                                      New York, NY
                                      (212) 439-1123

                                      Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
                                      Boston, MA
                                      (617) 332-1845

                                      Sex Offenders Anonymous (SOANON)
                                      Van Nuys, CA
                                      (818) 244-6331

                                      Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS)
                                      Temecula, CA
                                      (909) 695-2277

                                      Fuller Psychological and Family Services
                                      Pasadena, CA
                                      (818) 584-5555

                                      Biola Counseling Center
                                      La Mirada, CA
                                      (310) 903-4800
 

         8.    Effects of  Pornography
          Porn is not an innocent  pastime without its victims.  Children are the most serious  victims of porn.  Studies indicate that one in three girls  and one in 7 boys will be sexually molested before the age of 18.  What does this have to do with porn?   Eighty-seven percent of  molesters of girls admitted to being regular users of hard-core porn.
         Not only the children, but women have been raped, abused sexually, and scarred for life by men addicted to porn.    But it is not only men doing this.   Young people are vulnerable to the influence of porn at an early age.  A 12 year old boy, Brian Thompson,  spent time in his pastor’s study calling  dial-a-porn services and was exposed to a variety of sexual  activities. After two weeks of listening, he assaulted a 4 years old girl.   So many victims, the girl, her parents, her siblings, all have to live with that hideous crime.
         Can a man  view hundreds of pictures of naked women and then look upon his wife with the same sense of wonder?   One woman wrote “Pornography has been a part of my husband’s life since he was a teenager…I have begged and pleaded for him to understand how his interest in everyone else’s body and sex life is ruining our marriage…how can a woman close her eyes to the fact that a man prefers to watch a flick than be with her?”    How can one possibly say that it doesn’t undermine families  and  distort  relationships in the family?    A similar story could be told by thousands of wives.

Links to helpful sites

Christians-in-Recovery
Cyberangels.org
Stonegateresources.org
eXXit.org
PromiseKeepers.org
Focus on the Family
 Barnabus Christian Counseling Network
Psychological Counseling Services
Pure Life Ministries
New Life Ministries


The Focus on the Family Website  has  nearly 200  articles one can read on-line.  Go to Focus on the Family  and type pornography in the search box.  This page has been influenced by material on that website.

                                                   

The Healing Site

    Here is an additional source on the issue.


 Dr. Judith Reisman WND Exclusive Commentary
 The impotence pandemic
Posted: September 27, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Sex therapists and pornographers have long prescribed pornography to correct male impotence and to "spice up" a couple's sex life. However, the broader meaning of "potency" is one's "power, authority … a person or thing exerting power or influence," scorning pills, potions or pictures.

The proper contextual definition of impotence, then, is not the narrow classification of "erectile dysfunction." A potent man does not fix his flagging libido with little blue pills or centerfolds.

Instead, a more complete and accurate definition finds men impotent when they cannot engage in a truly intimate conjugal embrace with their chosen beloved.

Princeton University professor of psychiatry Jeffrey Satinover said, "The pornography addict soon forgets about everything and everyone else in favor of an ever more elusive sexual jolt. He … will place at risk his career, his friends, his family."

Such is the definition of impotence. Satinover compared pornography to heroin, saying, "Only the delivery system … and the sequence of steps" differ.
Moreover, the sequence can work very quickly. Professor Mary Anne Layden of the University of Pennsylvania compared pornography's rapid effects to that of "crack cocaine."

In impotence, one replaces the face of one's beloved with that of novel pornographic fantasies. For, neurobiologist Peter Milner writes, "unfamiliar stimuli have a rewarding component. It is even possible to become addicted to novelty and uncertainty."

Indeed, several studies conducted by French neuroscientist Serge Stoleru also find that the "common condition" of impotence and lack of sexual desire among normal, healthy young men, reflect continued overexposure to "erotic" stimuli as exhausting their sexual response.

Someone once dubbed pornography "the opiate of the masses," an endogenous drug high called "lust" that makes wholesome sensuality seem run-of-the-mill. Pornography triggers high states of fear-shame-lust arousal ("flight/fight/sex"), quite the opposite of love. Therefore, devoted couples often confess dismay at finding pornography more arousing than their marital embrace. Many wrongly assume their love is weak. Yet, the strength of love requires an absence of the shame, fear, even hate that is the basis of lust. For a fuller discussion of the psychopharmacology of pictorial pornography, visit my website.

Says Milner, this explains why, to some extent, pornography and gambling are "multi billion-dollar industries. … Most stimuli become less attractive … as they become familiar and predictable. … Thus, novelty has an effect similar to that of reward." (Emphasis added.)

By definition, once their erectile function depends on the novelty of new pictures, such men are emasculated, "without power." They have traded their libido, their masculine power and authority, for a steady stream of new paper dolls.

In December 1953, Hugh Hefner began marketing Playboy as "sexual liberation."

But Hefner didn't bring sexual liberation; he brought Pornographically Induced Impotence, or PII.

Pornographically Induced Impotence is displayed in an August 1974 Playboy cartoon. A beautiful young girl and a handsome lad are in bed. Across the girl's nude body the grinning boy has laid a naked "centerfold" image. The girl under the paper doll asks, plaintively, "Are you sure you still love me, Henry?"

This Playboy lad – symbolic of millions of subsequently addicted Internet consumers – no longer commands his own natural-born masculine power to physically love.

Both "Henry" and his beautiful young vessel are robbed of their human rights; the power of their own intimacy.

Urged on by Kinseyan "sexperts" to bring "erotica" into their marriage beds, millions of hopeful couples have instead become puppets, dangled from the pornographers' strings.

Pornographically Induced Impotence is now a national pandemic, raking in untold billions for pornographers and their satellite businesses as well as from the marital discord and despair it produces.

From the Playboy mansion to Capitol Hill, from the Las Vegas bordellos to newlywed bedrooms, from Fortune 500 offices to Ivy League dorms, men and boys are habituating to the rewards of their own hand, provided by Hefner et al.

Public policy analyst Shaunti Feldhahn was interviewed recently about her church lecture program that included her research on men's "fixations on pornography."

The series was launched after counselors noted, "Many families in our church are struggling with pornography and with infidelity."

Men are "visually wired," Feldhahn explained. Their images of women stretch "back to his teenage years, and any one of the pictures is going to pop up at any time in his brain without warning."

In 1981, Hefner biographer Gay Talese wrote that "Hef's" influence reached out to "the central nervous system of Playboy readers nationwide."

And, that "central nervous system" included "images" popping up and stretching "back to teenage years." By 2005, some estimated impotence at roughly 50 percent of men.

What percentage suffer from pornographically induced impotence is unknown. For pornography emasculates indiscriminately. It castrates men of every race, religion and "orientation," atheist and orthodox, rich and poor, conservative and radical, young and old, svelte and paunchy, handsome and unappealing, scientist and sky cap, the clever and the obtuse, en masse.

Pornographically Induced Impotence once kept men and boys breathlessly awaiting each month's "new" fantasy images. The Internet means they wait no more.

Good news for the sex business, sexologists and Big Pharma!

Men conditioned since boyhood to use erototoxins blame their wives, girlfriends, women for their own waning libido.

But even psychologist Bernie Zilbergeld warned that Playboy encouraged impotence in their consumers:

"Humor is the basic source of education. … Cartoons that poke fun at impotence or other male inadequacies … would outweigh any supportive things said in the advice column. Cartoons are simply more compelling. Some things are."

Yes, some things are. Zilbergeld never warned about the thousands of Playboy cartoons that "poke fun" at virginity, wives, marriage, religion, sexual harassment, single moms, incest and child sexual abuse.

Feldhahan said almost all men she surveyed said they "didn't want unlimited sex," but to have "a feeling of wanting to be wanted." One certain way to be wanted is to be a real man. Let "Henry" purge the paper dolls and the Internet dolls to retake his masculinity.

 

One more excellent article:

Arousing Ourselves to Death

Porn Is Ravaging Our Churches

The couple will typically tell me first about how stressful their lives are. Maybe he’s lost his job. Perhaps she’s working two. Maybe their children are rowdy or the house is chaotic. But usually, if we talk long enough about their fracturing marriage, there is a sense that something else is afoot. The couple will tell me about how their sex life is near extinction. The man, she’ll tell me, is an emotional wraith, dead to intimacy with his wife. The woman will be frustrated, with what seems to him to be a wild mixture of rage and humiliation. They just don’t know what’s wrong, but they know a Christian marriage isn’t supposed to feel like this.

It’s at this point that I interrupt the discussion, look at the man, and ask, “So how long has the porn been going on?” The couple will look at each other, and then look at me, with a kind of fearful incredulity that communicates the question, “How do you know?” For a few minutes, they seek to reorient themselves to this exposure, wondering, I suppose, if I’m an Old Testament prophet or a New Age psychic. But I’m not either. One doesn’t have to be to sense the spirit of this age. In our time, pornography is the destroying angel of (especially male) Eros, and it’s time the Church faced the horror of this truth.

A Perversion of the Good

In one sense, the issue of pornography is not new at all. Human lust for covenant-breaking sexuality is rooted, Jesus tells us, not in anything external to us but in our fallen passions (Matt. 5:27–28). Every generation of Christians has faced the pornography question, whether with Dionysian pagan art, or with Jazz Age fan-dancers, or with airbrushed centerfolds.

But the situation is unique now. Pornography is not now simply available. With the advent of Internet technology, with its near universal reach and its promise of secrecy, pornography has been weaponized. In some sectors, especially of our young male populations, it is nearly universal. This universality is not, contrary to the propaganda of the pornographers themselves, a sign of its innocence but of its power.

Like all sin, pornography is by definition a perversion of the good, in this case of the mystery of the male and female together in a one-flesh union. The urge toward this is strong indeed, precisely because our Creator, in manifold wisdom, decided that human creatures would not subdivide like amoeba, but that the male would need the female, and the female the male, for the race to survive.

Beyond that is an even greater mystery still. The Apostle Paul tells us that human sexuality is not arbitrary, nor is it merely natural. It is, he reveals, itself an icon of God’s ultimate purpose in the gospel. The one-flesh union is a sign of the union between Christ and his Church (Eph. 5:22–33). If human sexuality is patterned after the very Alpha and Omega of the cosmos, no wonder it is so difficult to restrain. No wonder it seems so wild.

An Ecclesial Issue

Pornography, by its very nature, leads to insatiability. One picture, stored in the memory, will never be enough to continue arousing a man. God, after all, designed the man and the woman to be satisfied not with a single sex act but with an ongoing appetite for each other, for the unitive and procreative union of flesh to flesh and soul to soul. One seeking the mystery outside of this covenantal union will never find what he is looking for. He will never find an image naked enough to satisfy him.

Yes, pornography is an issue of public morality. We have spoken to this repeatedly. A culture that doesn’t safeguard the dignity of human sexuality is a culture on its way to nihilism. Yes, pornography is an issue of social justice. After all, pornography, at least as we know it today, is rarely about mere “images.” Behind those images stand real persons, created in the image of God, who through some sad journey to a far country of despair have tumbled down to this. We agree with those—often even secular feminists with whom we disagree on much—who say that a pornographic culture hurts women and children through the objectification of women, the trafficking of children, and the commodification of sex.

But before pornography is a legal or cultural or moral issue, it is an ecclesial one. Judgment must, as Scripture tells us, begin with the household of God (1 Pet. 4:17). The man who is sitting upstairs viewing pornography while his wife chauffeurs their children to soccer practice might well be a religionless, secular culture warrior. But he is just as likely to be one of our church members, maybe even one who reads Touchstone magazine.

To begin to address this crisis, we call on the church of Jesus Christ to take seriously what is at stake here. Pornography is about more than biological impulses or cultural nihilism; it is about worship. The Christian Church, in all places and in all times and in all communions, has taught that we are not alone in the universe. One aspect of “mere Christianity” is that there are unseen spiritual beings afoot in the cosmos who seek to do us harm.

These powers understand that “the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). They understand that a disruption of the marital sexual bond defaces the embodied icon of Christ and his Church (Eph. 5:32). They know that pornography, in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ, joins Christ, spiritually, to an electronic prostitute or, more likely, to a vast digital harem of electronic prostitutes (1 Cor. 6:16). And these accusing powers know that those who unrepentantly practice these things “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10).

Sham Repentance

This means that our churches cannot simply rely on accountability groups and blocking software to combat this scourge. We must see this as darkly spiritual and, first and foremost, reclaim a Christian vision of human sexuality. Internet pornography, after all, is downstream from a view of human sexuality that is self-focused and fruitless. In an era when sex is merely about achieving orgasm by any means necessary, we must reiterate what the Christian Church has always taught: sex is about the covenant union of one man with one woman, a union that is intended to bring about flourishing, love, happiness, and, yes, sensual pleasure.

But it is also intended to bring about new life. An incarnational picture of sexuality, rooted in the mystery of the gospel, is the furthest thing possible from the utilitarian ugliness of pornography. Our first step must be to show why pornography leaves a person, and a culture, so numb and empty. Human sexuality is, as our colleague Robert George put it, more than “body parts rubbing against one another.”

Moreover, we must call for repentance in our own churches, and this will be more difficult than it sounds. Pornography brings with it a kind of sham repentance. Immediately after an “episode” with pornography is “over,” the participant usually, especially at first, feels a kind of revulsion and self-loathing. An adulterer or a fornicator of the more traditional kind can at least rationalize that he is “in love.” Most people, though, don’t write poetry or romantic songs about this isolated, masturbatory compulsion. Even the pagans who find pornography pleasant and necessary seem to recognize that it is kind of pitiful.

Typically, for those who identify as Christians, a pornographic episode is followed by a resolve “never to do it again.” Often these (again, typically) men promise to seek out some sort of accountability and leave it behind. But often this resolve is less about a convicted conscience than about a sated appetite. Even Esau, belly full of red stew, wept for his lost birthright, but “found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears” (Heb. 12:17).

Without genuine repentance, the cycle of temptation will grind on. The powers of this age will collaborate with the biological impulses to make it seem irresistible again. The pseudo-repentance will only keep the sin in hiding. This is devil work, and is among those things our Lord Jesus came to destroy (1 John 3:8).

Genuine Repentance

Our churches must show what genuine repentance looks like. This does not mean setting up legalistic rules and regulations against the use of technology itself. This, the Apostle Paul tells us, is “of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Col. 2:23). It does mean, however, that every point of temptation comes with a corresponding means of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). For some especially vulnerable members of our churches, this will mean giving up the use of home computers or of Internet technology altogether.

Such a suggestion seems absurd to many, as though we were suggesting that some Christians might do well to stop eating or sleeping. But human beings have lived thousands of years without computers and without the Internet. Is our Lord Jesus right when he says it is better to cut off one’s hand or gouge out one’s eye rather than be condemned by our sin? (Matt. 5:29). How much less is it, then, to ask that one cut through a cable?

We must also empower women in our congregations to grapple as Christians with husbands enslaved to pornography. We believe, and have taught emphatically, that wives should submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:23). But, in Scripture and in Christian teaching, all submission (except to the Lord directly) has limits. The husband’s body, the Bible says, belongs to his wife (1 Cor. 7:4). She need not subject herself to being the physical outlet for her husband’s pornographically supplied fantasies. If both are members of a Christian church, and if he will not repent, we counsel the wife to follow our Lord’s steps (laid out in Matt. 18:15–20) to call a brother to repentance, up to and including church action.

The Gospel Answer

Finally, and most importantly, we call on the church to counteract pornography with what the demonic powers fear most: the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus, after all, walked with us, before us, into the testing of the appetites. His enemy and ours offered him a solitary masturbatory meal, to be wolfed down in the desert. Jesus turned back Satan’s offer, not because he did not hunger, but because he wanted a marriage supper, joined with his Church “as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).

The powers want any child of Adam, especially a brother or sister of the Lord Jesus, to cringe in hiding from accusation. Through the confession of sin, though, any conscience, including one darkened by pornography, can be cleansed. By the blood of Christ, received in repentance and faith, no satanic indictment can stand, not even one that comes with an archived Internet history.

—Russell D. Moore,is the author of Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches.

Additional Sources:

1.“Wired for Intimacy, How Pornography hijacks the male brain”, by William Struthers.

.2.  “Neuro-Theology of Sex and Addiction” from New Hope Ministry (www.NewHope4si.com).